For a while I was tweeting with the hashtag #OperationHealthyWriter. It was my way of letting folks know that I’d made the decision to both write more and be more healthy. As a writer and an IT professional, I’ve had a very sedentary lifestyle. I also like the occasional beer and love sweets and carbs. As a result I’d get winded just climbing the stairs at work. I also had more around my middle than I cared to. This was made plain by a picture that my cousin took of me at Thanksgiving.
The healthy part of Operation Healthy Writer has taken various forms. For me it’s been running and lifting weights. I plan on doing a 5K later this year and be in shape to do a 10K and perhaps a half marathon next year. I’ve also spent the last several weeks lifting weights and doing body weight exercises like push up, planks, and squats. It’s been hard. I have a new job and that means if I really want to exercise the best time to do it’s at 5:00am. Turns out it’s still dark that early. I don’t like getting up and working hard before it’s light out. I don’t like being fat more though.
The writer part of operation healthy writer is almost as difficult mentally. Like working out, getting those first words out takes an incredible effort of will. I have to make time to do that. I can crank out thirty words a minute when I’m in the groove, so I don’t need a lot of time. I do find that if I start with the intent of writing for fifteen minutes, I usually go longer. Also, as is the case with exercise, it’s good to have a goal. I’ve cleared some of the backlog of works in progress. I’m in the process of finishing the first draft of Ginnie Dare: Blockade Runner. I want to have that done and out by the end of the year. I want to write two novels next year and add one a year after that.
Goals are good for both and I’ve seen results. Another thing that helps keep me going is the positive feedback I’ve received. My wife tells me that she can really tell the difference in how I move and how I look. I also have an appreciative audience for my work. Those things help, but I’m pretty sure that those things don’t, and perhaps shouldn’t, sustain me. The drive to be healthy and stay that way and the drive to write more both have to come from a strong desire inside me. Even when Operation Healthy Writer becomes habitual, I’m sure the temptation to slack off will be there. When it does I’ll think back to the picture, and how much better I feel. I’ll think back to a time when I wasn’t creating new and interesting characters and tormenting them. And I’ll keep going.
If you’re a writer or create other things and you face the struggles of staying healty, whether its your weight or something else, drop me a comment below. If you’re interested in sharing your struggles via a guest post, let me know.